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Pay for Percentile

  • Gadi Barlevy
  • Derek Neal

We propose an incentive scheme for educators that links compensation to the ranks of their students within comparison sets. Under certain conditions, this scheme induces teachers to allocate socially optimal levels of effort. Moreover, because this scheme employs only ordinal information, it allows education authorities to employ completely new assessments at each testing date without ever having to equate various assessments. This removes incentives for teachers to teach to a particular assessment form and eliminates opportunities to influence reward pay by corrupting assessment scales. Education authorities can employ separate no-stakes assessment systems to track trends in scaled measures of student achievement. (JEL I21, I28, J33, J45)

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File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/articles.php?doi=10.1257/aer.102.5.1805
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Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal American Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 102 (2012)
Issue (Month): 5 (August)
Pages: 1805-31

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Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:102:y:2012:i:5:p:1805-31
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  2. Malcomson, James M, 1984. "Work Incentives, Hierarchy, and Internal Labor Markets," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 92(3), pages 486-507, June.
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  7. Ladd, Helen F., 1996. "The Dallas School Accountability and Incentive Program: An Evaluation of Its Impacts on Student Outcomes," Working Papers 96-18, Duke University, Department of Economics.
  8. Scott E. Carrell & James E. West, 2008. "Does Professor Quality Matter? Evidence from Random Assignment of Students to Professors," NBER Working Papers 14081, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Adele Atkinson & Simon Burgess & Bronwyn Croxson & Paul Gregg, 2004. "Evaluating the Impact of Performance-related Pay for Teachers in England," The Centre for Market and Public Organisation 04/113, Department of Economics, University of Bristol, UK.
  10. Flavio Cunha & James J. Heckman, 2008. "Formulating, Identifying and Estimating the Technology of Cognitive and Noncognitive Skill Formation," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 43(4).
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  12. John Cawley & James Heckman & Edward Vytlacil, 1999. "On Policies To Reward The Value Added By Educators," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 81(4), pages 720-727, November.
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  15. Green, Jerry & Stokey, Nancy, 1983. "A Comparison of Tournaments and Contracts," Scholarly Articles 3203644, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  16. Dale Ballou, 2009. "Test Scaling and Value-Added Measurement," Education Finance and Policy, MIT Press, vol. 4(4), pages 351-383, October.
  17. H. Vogt, 1983. "Unimodality of differences," Metrika, Springer, vol. 30(1), pages 165-170, December.
  18. Lazear, Edward P & Rosen, Sherwin, 1981. "Rank-Order Tournaments as Optimum Labor Contracts," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(5), pages 841-64, October.
  19. Daniel M. Koretz, 2002. "Limitations in the Use of Achievement Tests as Measures of Educators' Productivity," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 37(4), pages 752-777.
  20. Christine Harbring & Gabriele K. Lünser, 2008. "On the Competition of Asymmetric Agents," German Economic Review, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 9, pages 373-395, 08.
  21. Jacob, Brian A., 2005. "Accountability, incentives and behavior: the impact of high-stakes testing in the Chicago Public Schools," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(5-6), pages 761-796, June.
  22. Carmichael, H Lorne, 1983. "The Agent-Agents Problem: Payment by Relative Output," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 1(1), pages 50-65, January.
  23. O'Keeffe, Mary & Viscusi, W Kip & Zeckhauser, Richard J, 1984. "Economic Contests: Comparative Reward Schemes," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 2(1), pages 27-56, January.
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